Last updated December 21, 2019

Catastrophic Floods Are Destroying Japan, And Scientists Say It's Only Going To Get Worse

Extreme rainfall that occurred from July 2 to July 9, 2018 in southwestern Japan. Credit: NASA

The Japan Meteorological Agency has reported that one area of the Kochi prefecture experienced a staggering 26.3 centimeters (10.4 inches) of precipitation in just three hours, nearly as much as the average amount for the entire month of July (32.8 centimeters or 12.9 inches), typically southwestern Japan’s second wettest month after June.

The news agency NHK states that 36.4 centimeters (14.3 inches) of rain fell between 5am and 7am on Sunday in the city of Uwajima, Ehime prefecture – about 1.5 times the average monthly rainfall for July.

The unprecedented rains are tragic, but not totally unpredicted – and could become the new normal. Numerous climate change models have suggested that Japan will see an increased frequency and intensity of heavy rain days in coming years.